Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Voices-The Pundits

Dr. Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, is the most famous Turkish-American around (hopefully, one day, I will crack the top 100).

To my knowledge,like many doctors, he has not said much about the health care spat, but the same can not be said for pundits both on the right and the left.

On the far, far right, Glenn Beck, compared President Barack Obama's plan to cup-stacking, presumably suggesting that all the cups would fall down and create a mess.

Frank Livingston, a Garner, NC, resident told "The Indy Weekly" (a Raleigh,NC, alt weekly) during a Tea Party/anti-health care protest in the Tarheel State capital that the bill would somehow help Osama bin Laden take over America and convert everyone to Muslims.

The much more intelligent center-right has been cynical as well. In a June 2009 column, George F. Will said: "The president may have been too clever when he decided during an economic crisis that was sending federal expenditures soaring and revenues plummeting, to push the entire liberal agenda on the premise that every item in it is essential to combating the crisis," Will stated, adding that more federal government will escalate the problem.

Jonathan V. Last of the conservative magazine "The Weekly Standard" said Obama's positive numbers were inflated because of his popularity among African-Americans.

But, a counter argument could be made that former President George W. Bush's numbers would have been even closer to the South Pole if it was not for his evangelical base whom comedian Bill Maher said would have supported Bush if he had run over child actress Dakota Fanning on the White House lawn.

However, if the right was critical, the left, which has not always supported Obama universally, called the health care bill's delivery a defining moment for the president.

Jonathan Chait of the center-left "The New Repubic" said: "Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical importance."

Lindsay Beyerstein of the more progressive journal "The Nation" said: "This legislation will extend coverage to 32 million Americans and curb the wrost abuses of the corrupt insurance industry and attmept to contain spiraling health care costs."

The measure also got anlaysis from outside the United States as indicated by this sentiment expressed by Konrad Yakabushi of "The Toronto Globe and Mail:"

"Passage of the $940 billion overhaul of the U.S. health-care system is a milestone that will change the face and character of the country."

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